Travelling Jacks – Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town on Saturday, 11 November 2023 at 3pm

Distance from the Stadium: 276 miles ~ 5 hours.

Address: Ipswich Town Football Club, Portman Road, Ipswich. IP1 2DA
Telephone: 01473 400500
Web Site:

What’s Portman Road Like

Portman Road is a traditional old school ground, with 4 separate stands. The away end is blocks V1 and V2 of the Cobbold Stand. This gives you a good side-stand upper-tier view of the action.

Food and drink facilities are what you’d expect with pies, sausage rolls, crisps and chocolate bars available. Vegetarian options are also stocked. Alcohol availability in the away end is determined on a match-by-match basis.

Portman Road is now a cashless stadium, meaning that that all food and drink kiosks are cashless. The nearest cash machines to the stadium are a 5-10 minute walk away, at the railway station, at the Cardinal Park leisure facility (which has a number of chain restaurants, plus a KFC and a McDonalds), and throughout the town centre.

Where to stay in Ipswich

Ipswich has numerous hotels, many at the budget end of the market, within a comfortable walk from the ground.

Of the familiar named hotel chains, the nearest is the newly-opened Travelodge Ipswich Central next to the stadium, then the Penta hotel (5 mins), with the Premier Inn Quayside around 10-15 mins from the ground in the harbourside area and a lodge at the Mermaid pub (Marstons), also about a 10-minute walk.

For a more upmarket option, the Salthouse Harbour Hotel is on the harbourside, and Milsoms (Kesgrave) is in a country house setting on the eastern edge of Ipswich. The Railway at Westerfield is about 2 miles out of town, but is a lovely traditional pub with great food and frequent trains that get you to Ipswich station in just a few minutes.

Eating and Drinking near Portman Road

The Station Hotel is opposite the station, and is the official away pub. It has a garden and TV screens, with beers mostly from the Greene King stable.

Most pubs immediately around the ground are for home fans only, and few pubs around the town, if any, will welcome groups of away fans, especially wearing away team colours. As always, couples, families and older people will find it a bit easier to slip into a town centre pub for a quiet beer or two.

Note that, on a match-by-match basis, police may designate other pubs in the town centre as home fans only. This is more likely nowadays as there have been a number of pub closures in the immediate area around the stadium. In practice, the smaller and the friendlier the away following, the easier it is to enjoy our many great pubs on a matchday.

There is a fan zone marquee and entertainment zone at the stadium, but this is strictly open to home fans only. There are ticket checks at the turnstiles.

Parking near Portman Road

There is no official stadium car park, but there is parking all around the ground. The closest is a large car park on Portman Road (right by the away end, post code IP1 2BP) which is likely to have space for this game up to maybe 90 minutes before kick-off.

Note that the Portman Road entry/exit for this car park will be closed from 15 minutes before the end of the game until 15 minutes after the game. Vehicle access via Friars Bridge Road remains open at all times.

There are also large car parks on West End Road (5 minutes’ walk away, post code IP1 2DZ) and at the railway station (less than 10 minutes, postcode IP2 8AL). The town centre is less than 10 minutes’ walk, and has numerous car parks, as you’d expect.

You can also choose from a selection of private car parking spaces near Portman Road – including a few reservable parking spaces from just £3.90 for the whole day.

Being a town centre ground, most streets are controlled (residents only) parking, so free on-road parking tends to be at least a 20-minute walk away.

As usual, the car parks nearest the ground are a bit slow to clear after the game – the further you park from the ground, the less likely you are to face lengthy traffic delays post-match.

Another option is the railway station car park (it’s controlled by cameras, and the pay stations are by the entrance to the station – it costs £6 at weekends) – exit left onto Burrell Road / Ranelagh Road (B1075), then (after about a mile) left onto the A1214 to get out to the A14.

Trains to Ipswich

Note: Engineering work is taking place on the London to Ipswich line with rail replacement buses between
Ingatestone and Witham.

Ipswich station is only 5 to 10 minutes’ walk from the ground.

For the journey to Ipswich, the mainline runs out of London Liverpool Street (note that you can also pick up
some trains at Stratford).

From Swansea, you’ll arrive into London Paddington. From London Paddington, take the Elizabeth Line to London Liverpool Street (or Stratford). Alternatively, take the Bakerloo Line to Oxford Circus, then Central Line to Liverpool Street (or Stratford). Note there is no service on the Circle Line or Hammersmith & City Line. The journey time is around 5 hours 45 minutes.

Note that the rail replacement buses are likely to be very busy so do allow plenty of time for your journey.

After the game shows the 17:44 train from Ipswich to Witham connecting to a bus to Ingatestone and train to Liverpool Street. This connects to the 20:48 train from London Paddington to Swansea arriving into Swansea at 23:44.

For those travelling towards London only, after the game there are trains from Ipswich to Witham at 17:09, 17:44, 17:52, 18:11 and 18:41.

There are also some later options. Allowing for the rail replacement buses the journey time into London is around 2 hours 15 minutes to 2 hours 20 minutes.

For the Travelling Jacks making the trip – Be Loud, Be Proud and Be Positive!

Feature Image Credit: Ipswich Town Football Club